Drug And Alcohol Addiction In The Elderly who-addiction-affects

Senior Citizens And Substance Abuse

Although it's not unpopular for an addiction later in life, the health effects of substance abuse for those over the age of 65 can be even more dangerous than in younger users.


In the UK, substance addiction among senior citizens is a constantly increasing health issue. Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services says that substance use among senior citizens can be classified into two typical forms the "late onset" group, which is those who form addictions later in life and the "hardy survivor", or those who have been abusing substances for many years and have reached 65. There are treatment options available to help you get back on a healthy path, regardless of how old you are or when your addiction started.


Cases among elderly are commonly overlooked thereby preventing them the opportunity for help or treatment.


Causes Of Addiction In Senior Citizens

Many things could lead to someone turning to substance abuse later in life. These could be health problems or life-altering occurrences which lead to a psychological burden.

Drug-abusing behaviour that can cause a full-scale addiction may be triggered by these events. Whether you or a person you know is fighting with dependence problems later in life and require detecting a healing plan, contact us on 0800 246 1509.


Some of the reasons that provoke senior citizens to begin substance abuse are

  • Retirement
  • Death of a close family member, spouse, friend or a pet.
  • Financial problems or job loss
  • Relocation to a nursing home
  • Insomnia
  • Family conflict
  • Mental or physical health deterioration (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

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The Risk Of Elderly Substance Abuse

The human body becomes more vulnerable to the ill effects of drugs as it grows older.

Benzodiazepines, which are applied to heal anxiety, pain or sleep disorder, are a few of the most risky prescription drugs for the elderly. These are generously prescribed and highly addictive. Benzodiazepine addiction of elderly is found to have grown each year.


People above the age of 65 have a diminished capability to metabolize substances or alcohol together with a heightened brain sensitivity to them. The mere intake of drugs of alcohol in excess is already risky enough at this age.


Difficulties In Distinguishing Dependence In Senior Citizens

Symptoms of other medical or mental health disorders, such as diabetes, dementia or depression, may really be posed by alcohol or drug abuse.

There are cases where doctors attribute the deteriorating mental and physical condition to old age.


Symptoms Of Dependency In Senior Citizens

The mental health, physical health and personal relationships of people may start to deteriorate as they get older. Even though dependence can be troublesome to identify in this demographic, it's really vital to take note to any strange symptoms your aging loved one shows.

Some signs of elderly drug abuse to look for include

  • Memory problems
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Depression, irritability, sadness,
  • Unexplained chronic pain
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Preference to solitude
  • Failing to keep personal hygiene
  • Cutting off communication with family
  • Lack of interest in normal activities

It is crucial to search out a treatment centre that has particular experience working with seniors struggling with addiction, once an addiction is recognized.

Since individuals over 65 particularly are devoid of the social support needed throughout recovery, so you should search for programs that specialize in this kind of addiction and also provide case management services. The continued healthy lifestyle is allowed after the treatment with these case management services that provide the elderly with access to medical, psychiatric, and social resources.


Elderly Addiction Statistics

The reason for concern and something that should not be ignored by medical professionals, caretakers or family members, is the alarming rate at which individuals 65 years and older are developing addictions to various substances.